Response to “‘Jesus is King,’ but Kanye still fights for the throne’

“What have you been hearin’ from the Christians? / They’ll be the first one to judge me / Make it feel like nobody love me.” These words couldn’t help but bounce around my head while I was reading last week’s article “‘Jesus is King,’ but Kanye still fights for the throne,” as the article largely judges rather than celebrates Kanye’s new album. Although it may be true that Kanye West’s ego shines through in all aspects of his life, including his faith, his new gospel album is not as lacking in righteousness as last week’s article may have you believe.  

West’s album “Jesus is King” starts with the song “Every Hour,” beginning on the note that the world needs Christ: not Kanye, not a musical artist, but we need God “each and every millisecond.” In the next song, West acknowledges our dependence on Christ for salvation by quoting John 8, and calling himself a wretch — doesn’t sound terribly egotistical to me.  

Then the next song, “Follow God” (in which he doesn’t refer to himself as the greatest artist), is a lament by West, saying how hard it is to be “Christ-like,” and reflecting on how he hasn’t been Christ-like in the past. The fourth song, an homage to Chick-fil-a titled “Closed on Sunday,” has a similar message of turning from the culture and the past to God, with lines such as “I, Jezebel don’t even stand a chance” and “No more livin’ for the culture / we nobody’s slave.” 

Now, I won’t go through every song, but I encourage everyone to listen and look at the lyrics for this entire album. With such themes as reflecting God’s love in “Water,” and putting our faith firmly in Christ’s good news in “Use this Gospel,” this album is full of lessons and stories of faith, which everyone can learn from. In the song “Hands on,” which I referenced at the to start of this article, West actually asks us to put our hands on him and pray for him, because this is his first time writing a fully Christian album, and he needs help (of which he got little from the “Christians”).

I think the point of the album is West trying to reconcile his ego and his past mistakes with his obvious faith in Christ. Everyone has sin, and one of his struggles is his pride, but his mission is to make Jesus his King despite this. Is this album perfect in accomplishing this? No. Is it the greatest album of all time or even theologically consistent throughout? Not really. However, instead of judging him and saying how he is nothing but an ego, perhaps our response to Kanye’s album should be to celebrate his expression of faith and guide him down the path of Christ’s righteousness thatwhich he appears to want to travel ondown. For if we can’t love and guide Kanye in his faith because of his sin, are we really being “Christ-like?”

The original reviewer mistakenly said that Kanye called himself the “greatest artist” in his song “Follow God.”  Kanye actually said this in his song “On God.”